Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 1539 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The weekend plan returned some great remote sensing data, including the above Mastcam image of "Ireson Hill" to investigate the stratigraphy exposed in a distant butte. While we work on assessing the drill fault, the team decided to devote today’s plan to remote sensing and change detection. The plan starts with ChemCam observations of "Hunters Beach" and "Gorham Mountain" to investigate the chemistry of the Murray bedrock. Then we’ll acquire a Mastcam tau and crater rim extinction image to characterize the amount of dust in the atmosphere, followed by a Navcam dust devil search. The plan also includes a series of Hazcam observations taken approximately every hour until sunset – this will provide a very thorough dataset to monitor the movement of sand based on time of day. This is really important for planning MAHLI observations, because we’ve noticed a lot of movement of fines through this area at this time of year, and we’ve mostly been taking MAHLI images with the dust cover closed to protect the instrument. If we can better understand when and where the sand is most active, we can better plan MAHLI observations, and we can improve our understanding of the eolian environment! By Lauren Edgar --Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team. Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.


About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Contributors
Tools on the
Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars, including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life. The rover carries:

Cameras

Spectrometers

Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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